Valdosta Daily Times

September 23, 2013

A moving experience

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Several years ago, the Moving Wall came to Valdosta. For those who have visited the Wall and the Moving Wall, both are a powerful experience.

The Wall is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is a wall emblazoned with the names of the American service men and women lost during the Vietnam War. Seeing those rows of white-lettered names against the darkness of the wall’s surface has moved generations to deep emotions.

But not everyone can get to Washington, D.C., to see the Wall. There are family members and Vietnam veterans who cannot make it to the nation’s capital to see this tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Bringing the memorial to those who are unable to visit D.C. is the idea behind the Moving Wall.

The Moving Wall is a half-sized replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Though smaller, the Moving Wall still contains all of the names of those Americans lost to the war.

The Moving Wall arrives in a town. It is erected and displayed in the same, though smaller, fashion as the original is permanently displayed in Washington.

This week, the Moving Wall arrives in Adel. It arrives Wednesday and will be assembled Thursday morning. Starting from noon Thursday, Sept. 26, through noon Monday, Sept. 30, the Moving Wall will be open to the public around the clock, at the Welcome Center off of Interstate 75’s Exit 39 in Adel. An official opening ceremony will be held 10 a.m. Friday.

There is one exception to this public visitation. On Sunday evening, Sept. 29, the exhibit will be closed to the public and open exclusively for Vietnam veterans and their guests for a time of private reflection.

If you have never seen the Wall or the Moving Wall, it is a memorial that should be seen by all Americans, young and old.

Seeing those names on the wall, those row after row of names, should serve as a stark reminder of the true cost of war.